Syrah secures top prizes at the Australian Organic Wine Industry Awards

Ngeringa Winemaker, Erinn Klein. Image courtesy Australian Organic Limited

Ngeringa’s 2019 Single Vineyard Iluma Syrah from the Adelaide Hills has prevailed at the 2021 Australian Organic Wine Industry Awards taking home the coveted Cullen Trophy for Wine of Show, as well as the top prize for Red of Show.

Hosted by Australian Organic Limited (AOL), the Awards, announced on Friday 8 April, celebrate the unique wines and talented winemakers who are collectively driving the growth and success of Australia’s organic wine industry.

In total, 53 organic and biodynamic wine producers from 38 regions across Australia submitted 238 bottles of the nation’s finest organic wines for judging in the Awards program.

Industry figure Mike Bennie said it was exciting to see some of the often-unsung varietals make an appearance at the Awards.

“The lesser known white and red varieties were really strong and showed that diversifying from mainstream grape varieties has currency,” Bennie said.

“The quality and variety of the wines presented during the judging was inspiring and exciting, while the varying backgrounds and experiences of the panel also brought something different to the judging.”

The diversity of Australian organic wines spurred the judges to this year create new and unique categories, including Best Newcomer, Best Left of Centre Wine, Best Park Wine and Best Chillable Red.

These sat alongside the traditional Wine of Show and Red and White of Show.

Growing on the northern slope of Mount Barker’s summit is Ngeringa’s Iluma Vineyard and home to the winning Wine of Show and Red of Show, the 2019 vintage Single Vineyard Iluma Syrah.

Ngeringa’s accomplished and humble winemaker, Erinn Klein, was surprised when he learned they had won the awards, stating they don’t often enter wine shows, but rather focus on making wines that represent their ‘terroir’.

The ‘terroir’ Mr Klein refers to is the reflection of site, soil, aspect, variety, season and minimal winemaking influence that gives the wine its unique character and is farmed using biodynamic and organic principles.

“The Single Vineyard Iluma Syrah comes from our most special and expressive terroir resulting in low cropping, well balanced vines that consistently produce our highest quality wine,” Klein said.

“What makes it special is that it is produced from healthy soils and vines, and we use minimal intervention to allow optimum expression.”

AOL Chief Executive Officer, Niki Ford, congratulated the 2021 Australian Organic Wine Award winners and finalists for their outstanding results.

“Each of these winemakers thoroughly deserves to be recognised for their commitment to producing high-quality wine in a sustainable way and as nature intended,” Ford said.

“The winemakers take great care of their vineyards and work extremely hard to maintain certification and create diverse and exceptional wines of the highest standard.

“It’s these wines that are gaining an enviable reputation here at home and overseas, with certified organic wines now accounting for 10 per cent of Australia’s certified organic exports.” Traveller WINE.


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